Elevated EDSA expressway to cost $3 billion — Ang

Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) - October 7, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — San Miguel Corp. (SMC) is projecting to spend at least $3 billion for its proposed elevated expressway along EDSA.

“The EDSA elevated expressway from Macapagal Ave. to Balintawak could reach $3 billion or a little more. Give or take, that’s just money, but we will pursue this project to help resolve traffic along EDSA,” SMC president and COO Ramon Ang said in an interview over the weekend.

The diversified conglomerate is completing documentary requirements before it submits its offer to government.

“We submitted the proposal, but we still lack some documents, like financial studies. But when we complete those, I think the idea is beautiful and Sec. (Arthur) Tugade approves of it,” Ang said.

“Give us one to two weeks to complete the financial studies of the project,” he said.

SMC and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) have already discussed the proposed 10-lane expressway, composed of five southbound lanes and five northbound lanes.

Ang said the project was based on a 38-kilometer elevated steel expressway in Jakarta, Indonesia.

If the government approves the project, the expressway could be completed and made operational within 24 to 30 months, Ang said.

The EDSA elevated expressway was proposed as Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) seeks ideas on how to solve the worsening traffic congestion along EDSA.

Based on latest data, MMDA said over 22,000 vehicles were added to the average daily volume of vehicular traffic along EDSA this year and would further increase during the Christmas season.

The agency expects an increase of 20 percent in the number of vehicles on EDSA this Christmas season.

A transport economist, however, warned that SMC’s proposal could further worsen traffic along the 23-km highway as it would encourage the purchase and use of private cars.

Citing MMDA data, Jedd Ugay from AltMobility said private cars take up 80 percent of Metro Manila’s main thoroughfares, including EDSA.

The government, Ugay said, should focus on improving mass transit as a long-term solution to solve Metro Manila traffic.

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